Braves, Panthers jump ahead in playoffs

VIJHL playoffs open with Saanich Braves beating Campbell River Storm 4-1 and Peninsula Panthers edging Oceanside Generals 6-5

Tanner McGaw is off to a great playoff start

Game 2: Saanich Braves vs. Campbell River Storm  –  Friday, 6:30 p.m. at Pearkes arena.

Game 2: Peninsula Panthers vs. Oceanside Generals  –  Friday, 7:30 p.m. at Panorama Rec. Centre.

Playoff hockey is in full swing on Vancouver Island, and all three South Island teams off to a great start.

The Saanich Braves opened their seven-game, first round series of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League playoffs with a controlling 4-1 win over the Campbell River Storm on Wednesday (Feb. 22).

The Peninsula Panthers also won on Wednesday, edging the Oceanside Generals 6-5 in a wild one in Parksville.

The Victoria Cougars, of course, are enjoying a first-round bye.

James Kellington made it 1-0, Sam McMullen made it 2-1, and captain Ty Jones put the game away with two third-period goals as the Braves downed the Storm at Pearkes arena Wednesday night.

Game 2 between the Storm and Braves is 6:30 p.m. at Pearkes on Friday.

Meanwhile, the Panthers and Generals combined for an 11 goal shootout.

Down 2-1 after the first period, the Panthers scored three goals in the second period for a 4-2 lead. Two of the goals came from homegrown Peninsula native Trevor Yee.

A barnburner third period saw the Generals come back with two straight goals to tie it, when Chris McDonald and Yee, with his hat trick goal, made it 6-4.

The Gens scored once again with four minutes left but Yee’s last goal stood up as the game winner.

Peninsula and Oceanside meet at Panorama Recreation Centre Friday night at 7:30 p.m.

The Comox Valley Glacier Kings lead the Kerry Park Islanders 1-0 in the VIJHL’s other series, which continues tonight.

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